So long 2015, Onward and Onward to 2016!

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Ever since I was a kid I’ve been very goal oriented and weirdly motivated by the endorphin rush that comes from checking something off my to do list. So it should come as no surprise I enjoy this time of year — reflecting back on what goals I accomplished the past year, kicking myself with a few face punches (metaphorical) for the ones I didn’t, and looking ahead and making lots and lots of lists for the coming year.

2015 was a mixed year for me, though I would say I leave it with a sense of generally pretty spectacularly amazeballs awesome — overall, financially, it was a very solid year, though not without some important lessons. Personally, it couldn’t have been better — Sweetie Pie moved closer to me after being in a different city for two years; I traveled a lot and saw many, many old friends; I started to feel like my house is becoming my home; and I started exploring all sorts of new pursuits outside of work (like this blog!), and somehow managed to achieve some balance of not feeling perpetually “busy” (I chalk that one up to good old fashioned gratitude!). Professionally, however, last year was a disappointment — I had some tough days at work and have been embroiled in some deep soul searching about where I might want to go next, how to get there, and the best recipe for lemonade in the meantime.

In terms of my specific goals, here’s the rundown: Continue reading So long 2015, Onward and Onward to 2016!

Emergency Funds and the Pricelessness of Peace of Mind

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In trying to figure out how to balance my finances, I’ve often struggled with how much is the right amount for an emergency fund. Should I save more in cash, or invest it? Should I pay off my mortgage faster, or save more? How much is enough for an emergency? How much is too much? Should I buy more cheese or less? One of those questions is easy to answer; the rest, not so much…

Standard advice is that an emergency fund should include 3-6 months’ worth of living expenses. Continue reading Emergency Funds and the Pricelessness of Peace of Mind

Is Grad School Worth It?

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I’ll admit I’ve been delinquent in my writing recently. I have a good excuse, though — maybe the best excuse. I’ve been on a multi-week, joy-filled, and overwhelming high after attending my 10-year grad school reunion. It really couldn’t have been any better — great friends and amazing people doing amazing things.

Am I one of those people? Sort of — I work in a related field, but it’s not what I went to school for and I went on to get ANOTHER degree after this one that’s required for my current job. (Yes, I be crazy. Way too much schooling.) So I have a somewhat random Master’s degree on my resume that always confuses people and no one’s quite sure what to make of it. To be honest, neither am I.

But was my two-year academic jaunt “worth” it? Continue reading Is Grad School Worth It?

A Fool-Proof Plan for Managing Debt

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You won’t believe this one simple trick to keep your debt under control!!

Special thanks to Amy Poehler, Steve Martin, & Chris Parnell.





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I came across this great post recently about “personalizing” your debt to make paying it off easier. By “personalizing,” the author meant tallying up the things that led to your debt to understand where it came from — this is a great idea! What I thought the headline meant, though, was something completely different:

Give your debt a name so you can punch it in the face.

This is an even better idea! Think of your debt as a nasty little demon that follows you around everywhere you go. Give it as many annoying characteristics as you possibly can, then draw a picture of it and hang it on your wall where you will see it every morning. Trust me on this one, it really works.

My debt is Dielzebub. He wears a polka dotted bowtie and a jingle bell anklet so I know to take him seriously. He eats all my food and poops everywhere he goes, singing the Macarena chorus on endless repeat.

Now you know why I cannot wait to get this pompous poopface out of my life.